Rarely do unknown chefs get the opportunity to open a brand new or redesigned restaurant — on their own — in a market like Denver’s. But in January, Lucien Reichert and Kelsie Berens are debuting Fox Run Cafe on East Colfax.
The new diner is currently under construction at the former home of Humble Pie, located next door to Machete Tequila + Tacos and Cerebral Brewing. Once open, Reichert says they’ll serve burritos, breakfast sandwiches, “light plates” and cups of coffee during the day.
“I like getting up early more than I like staying up late,” he said. “And the casual nature of a breakfast and lunch place or an all-day cafe was just more appealing to me.”
Reichert, 30, spent a few years working at neighborhood gems such as The Plimoth and Vert Kitchen before leaving with Berens and another Plimoth alum, Lauren Brendel, to start this new project.
Prior to his time at previous Denver restaurants, he underwent a three-month cooking program at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts. He cut his teeth working on the line at Chipotle. After college, he fell for restaurant life while serving as a wine steward at a Wyoming guest ranch.
“I’m not a chef by any means, although my friends love to call me chef, but I buck that,” he said. “I’m a very proficient line cook or prep cook, that’s what I pride myself on.”
But Reichert has dreamed of opening his own restaurant in his hometown, as a way of “tak(ing) care of the neighborhood that I’m in, and the regulars,” he said.
“I get worried about Denver being (a place where) a developer buys up a city block at a time, and hires a restaurant that’s a concept from New York, or a fifth concept from someone in Denver. Great restaurants in general are those places that have soul and were started by people that just wanted to live that life and serve a community.”
The team hopes to be ready to open by Jan. 20.
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